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Ranger Roundup: Five SPR Signings, Preview and more

Swope Park Rangers add U.S. Youth International goalkeeper and four others.

John Pulskamp
Thad Bell

With so much happening for Sporting Kansas City lately, it’s easy to lose track of their little brother, the Swope Park Rangers. The fourth year USL Championship squad has had a bizarre start to the season with two, two-week gaps between each game. The schedule really picks up today with their home game against Bethlehem Steel FC (Philadelphia Union) and doesn’t stop until mid July when there is an 11 day break between games.

Swope Adds U.S. Youth International

On Friday, the Swope Park Rangers announced the signing of United States Youth International goalkeeper John Pulskamp. He’s just 17-years-old and recently “spent two Development Academy seasons with the LA Galaxy Academy, making 23 appearances between their Under-17 and Under-19 sides.”

In 2018, Pulskamp went on trial for English Premier League side AFC Bournemouth but didn’t sign with the club. Before joining the Galaxy Academy he was with Real So Cal and Central California Aztecs, academies in California.

Pulskamp joins SKC Academy player and recent SPR signee Brooks Thompson and the below SKC Academy signing Max Trejo as the three goalkeepers on the roster. So far only Adrian Zendejas and Eric Dick have manned the net for SPR this season.

SPR Adds Four Academy Players

On Thursday, the Rangers announced four other signings from the SKC Academy. They signed goalkeeper Max Trejo, defenders Dylan Hooper and Kaveh Rad, and midfielder Tucker Lepley to Academy contracts. That leaves them all as amateurs so they can still go to college. In the past, players like Felipe Hernandez and Wan Kuzain have started on Academy deals and moved to full contracts (or in the case of Kuzain all the way to Sporting KC).

Hooper is the youngest of the bunch at just 15-years-old. He is a native of Shawnee, Kansas and plays center back. He’s already 6’0” and 175 pounds at just 15.

Kaveh Rad (17) is the other defender and he played on an Academy contract in 2018. He never got on the field in a live game though. He, along with his twin brother Jahon, come through the fruitful North Carolina pipeline to SKC along with players like Gianluca Busio and Jaylin Lindsey. Interestingly, no word yet on if Jahon will sign in 2019 as he did in 2018.

Lepley (17) got time with Sporting KC during preseason, appearing as a defensive midfielder against FC Arizona. He also comes to the club through their connections in North Carolina.

The final addition is the above-mentioned Trejo. He’s just 16-years-old and is a lanky 6’1”, 155 pound keeper. He was born in Mexico and has dual citizenship in the U.S.

Bethlehem Steel FC Preview

The third game of the season takes place at 4:00 PM CT today with the live stream on ESPN+. Philadelphia Union’s b-team have played double the games of the Rangers going 1-2-1 and are in 11th place in the East. Swope Park are just 0-1-1 and are all the way down in 17th place but with two games in hand.

For a full preview of the game, head to the club’s official site. If you call your SKC ticket rep, I’ve heard you can get free or discounted tickets if you are an SKC season ticket member. Go support the Rangers. It’s a beautiful day outside!

Jaylin Lindsey’s Injury

We all saw the news on Jaylin Lindsey’s injury this week. It’s not only a blow to the depth of Sporting KC but to the first team lineup for Swope. He was the first choice right back on opening day and if not for his knee injury likely would have seen extensive minutes there for SPR all season. His injury allows former MLS player and New England Revolution draft pick Mark Segbers a shot to make an impression.

Here is Lindsey’s statement on his injury:

Full Swope Park Rangers Roster

With all the new additions, the team is up to 23 players for the 2019 season, not including loans from the first team. The average birthday is now February 4, 1999. Meaning as of today that player is just 20 years, 2 months, and 2 days old. Suddenly I feel crushingly old.

SPR Roster - 4/6/19

# Name Position DOB Prior Club Joined
# Name Position DOB Prior Club Joined
85 Felipe Hernandez MID 6/8/1998 SKC Academy 1/6/2017
49 Will Little MID/FB 4/9/1998 SKC Academy 1/6/2017
77 Camilo Benitez Wing 8/16/1999 SKC Academy 2/9/2018
72 Justin Bilyeu LB 2/3/1994 New York Red Bulls (MLS) 5/7/2018
96 Wilson Harris CF 11/28/1999 SKC Academy 7/3/2018
95 Rassambek Akhmatov MID 5/31/1996 FC Miami City (USL League Two) 8/3/2018
91 Ethan Vanacore-Decker FWD 10/6/1994 North County United (USL League Two) 8/10/2018
98 Ayyoub Allach MID 1/28/1998 Lierse SK (Belgium) 1/4/2019
39 Jerome Ngom Mbekeli RW 9/30/1998 MFK Vyskov (Czech Republic) 1/4/2019
92 Alexsander Andrade MID/LB 9/6/1998 Athletico Paranaense (Brazil) 1/31/2019
43 Mark Segbers RB 4/18/1996 New England Revolution (MLS) 2/6/2019
53 Killian Colombie LW 11/2/1995 Iona College (New York) 2/12/2019
44 Camden Riley MID/DEF 8/20/1996 University of the Pacific (Cali) 2/20/2019
79 William Opoku Mensah FWD 1/3/1996 Karela United (Ghana) 3/6/2019
31 Brooks Thompson GK 6/13/2002 SKC Academy 3/7/2019
60 Mo Abualnadi* CB 2/8/2001 SKC Academy 3/8/2019
64 Jake Davis* MID 1/3/2002 SKC Academy 3/8/2019
80 Sean Karani* FWD 12/14/2000 SKC Academy 3/8/2019
67 Max Trejo GK 4/10/2002 SKC Academy 4/4/2019
50 Dylan Hooper CB 11/13/2003 SKC Academy 4/4/2019
48 Kaveh Rad DEF 6/13/2001 SKC Academy 4/4/2019
47 Tucker Lepley MID 1/17/2002 SKC Academy 4/4/2019
45 John Pulskamp GK 4/19/2001 LA Galaxy Academy 4/5/2019